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How to Get a Career Instead of Just a Job

The Key to Success in Jobs

I once met a young man who was complaining about change and this is what I told him.

” The only thing Constant in Life is change.
Those who adapt quickest thrive…
Those who adapt slowly survive…
Those who don’t atapt at all…
are relegated to the lowest levels of existence…
Poverty and misery.
The key to success is to adapt quickly…
it will put you at the head of the pack.”

In this article we will look at how change affects your job prospects and what you can do about it.

Tim McMahon~ editor

How to Get a Career Instead of Just a Job

Get a Job

Ever since 2008, government officials have been scrambling to put the economy back together, and it’s hard for someone without work to find a place for themselves within the chaos. The world has changed; products that were once the hallmark of American civilization are no longer in demand, and if they are, they’re shipped from another country. We’ve become a mostly service-based economy with millions of people that need jobs and few openings for them to fill.

Despite this, it’s a time of unparalleled opportunity. New niches are being created, new technologies are being introduced, and it’s never been easier to educate yourself, whether it’s through school or self-study, or starting your own business. Unskilled labor is disappearing, but anyone that can adapt has a bright future ahead of them.

Skills, Skills, Skills = Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

The first and most important thing is to develop skills. They matter more than a degree and your past work experience. People with a long list of valuable skills always have a place in the economy, and while lots of people are going back to school right now to finish undergraduate degrees or to attain a higher level of education, it’s only worth it if you gain skills you otherwise wouldn’t attain.

An example of skilled labor would be plumbing. Entering the trade requires either an apprenticeship with a master plumber or the completion of a course at a local trade school, but either way it qualifies you for a job that not everyone can do and that can’t be outsourced, and you’re nearly guaranteed to make a decent living. It’s not glamorous work, but it needs to be done, and there are a host of opportunities in fields that fit that description that are overlooked precisely because they lack social prestige. Don’t let that stop you; the work may or may not be better than standing behind the counter at a fast food restaurant, but there’s no comparing the salaries. Some independent plumbers are able to make six figures in a year, and the same is true for electricians, roofers, and so on. These are also professions where machines are unlikely to take over anytime soon, so establishing yourself now will provide a steady income for at least a few decades to come.

Prepare for Change

It’s becoming increasingly rare for people to stick with one job in one field for their entire working lives. Don’t think you’re exempt from this; economic shifts can force a career change even if you’re happy with what you do. Again, the more skills you possess, the more flexible and employable you are. Instead of getting stuck in a dead-end job, people that proactively educate themselves find it nearly impossible to get stuck in dead-end positions, and if they do it’s temporary. Any random cog in the machine can be replaced, but the mechanisms that turn the cogs cannot. That’s what you should aim to become. Look for fields where those who are at the top of the game know things and do things that nobody else does and nobody else can. Emulate them; learn what they know and copy what they do. Strive towards expertise. When you’re indispensable, your employer will bend over backwards to keep you, and if they ever go under, you’ll have a place with one of their competitors.

It’s Who You Know

Lastly, do not overlook the importance of the social game. Blindly submitting applications and resumes isn’t a good way to get a job, much less a job with upward mobility. Jobs that are filled through ads and cold interviews comprise a measly 10% of the overall job market, and there is a ton of competition. Yes, it’s vitally important to get your resume out there, but even more important is making an attempt to connect with people that work within the companies you’d be interested in becoming part of. People love to create economic opportunities for individuals they know and like, sometimes even going as far as to create positions that previously didn’t exist. If you can attach a person to the resume, you set yourself apart from all the other applicants. Even shooting an e-mail to someone higher up the food-chain than the HR department can drastically improve your odds of landing a position.

The wonderful thing is that nearly every skill and trait you need to possess in order to climb up the corporate ladder is also something that will help you, should you ever decide to start your own business or go back to school. Your most useful asset is you, and the more work you put into yourself, the more you have to offer and the more secure your future is. It doesn’t matter where you come from or where you are now, or if you’re educated or if you’re not, there is always a way to make yourself more valuable, and if you play your cards right, it won’t go unnoticed.

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About the Author:

Matthew Benson is a freelance blogger who writes career advice. If you’re ready to get out of your dead-end job, Matthew recommends that you start today and work towards an MBA.

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